Peter Edward Cook, writer and entertainer
Saturday 30 December 1995
I made myself laugh at Peter Cook's Memorial Service. It was something of a Media Circus in the churchyard, and I found myself saying to a camcorder that got right up my nose in more ways than one "Bugger off, I'm going to church!"
Inside, though, it was an excellent, if sad, occasion and Richard Ingrams's and Alan Bennett's contributions were spot on the knob. Only John Cleese seemed lost, and spoke of Tibet and proved conclusively that this Care in the Community simply is not working.
Then finally they played an extract from the Collected Thoughts of EL Wisty, and as "probably the most boring voice in the world" droned on, I found myself once again convulsed by the soaring flights of Peter's imagination. Fighting lock-jaw and trying not to damage myself in the pew in front, I suddenly thought - "I know that voice".
Indeed it could well have been John Major. EL Wisty might well have said "I could have been a prime minister, but I never had the O-levels." Perhaps it's a sad commentary on all our efforts in the Sixties that 30 years later he was. Oh, yes!
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